The history of Montreux Celebration, how it all began
In 2001, the "Freddie Mercury's Montreux Tour" was launched by Norbert Muller, owner of the Bazar Suisse shop in Montreux, Serge Rentsch, director at Bornand & Gaeng Montreux, and Rita Balesi Grass, all from the city of Montreux.
In a very intimate and discreet way, several drop-off points were proposed to the Freddie Mercury fans: visit of the Mountain Studios in the presence of David Richards, producer and sound engineer of the group Queen. A rose was placed at the foot of the Freddie Mercury statue in the Market Square and a boat trip to the famous Lake House.
Quite quickly and thanks to the communication via Internet and on the fan sites of Queen and Freddie Mercury, this tour became a kind of "confidential tip" for Freddie's fans. The number of visitors from all over the world was steadily increasing.
Parallel to this development, the Mountain Studio's hardships began to emerge. Finally, the disappearance of this mythical studio, a pillar of "Freddie Mercury's Montreux Tour", following the transformation of the Casino de Montreux, led to the end of this booming tourist offer.
The Montreuxmusic.com years with Memorial Day
Assuming that Montreux could become a place of "worship" for the countless Freddie Mercury fans, the organisers of "Freddie Mercury's Montreux Tour" then decided to create an annual event called "Memorial Day".
The first edition of this Memorial Day was celebrated on 6 September 2003, bringing together around 250 participants.
The second edition, with a higher number of participants, took place on 4 September 2004. Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury's personal assistant for 12 years, joined Rita and Norbert on the organising committee. These last two events allowed fans to discover more or less the same attractions as during the "Freddie Mercury's Montreux Tour", with several additional options (concerts, workshops, dinner, meeting with personalities, etc.).
Many editions of Memorial Day are organised over several years and on a voluntary basis.
In 2006, our association had the privilege and the immense honour of inviting the mother, Jer Bulsara, as well as Kashmira Cook, Freddie Mercury's sister, who made the trip especially from London to Montreux.
The Montreux Celebration association is created in 2016
After 2 years without activity, following the dissolution of montreuxmusic, a new association was created in 2016 by Norbert Muller, Diane Gagnon, Laurent Antoine and Sandra Melis.
Montreux Celebration is born and continues in the same spirit. The "Memorial Day" event is then renamed Freddie Celebration Days !
In 2019, Lucien Muller will succeed his father Norbert Muller as President of the Montreux Celebration association. Christophe Farin also joins the association as artistic director. The new Montreux Celebration team, made up of 3 dynamic and motivated volunteers, brings new ideas to develop the activities of the Montreux Celebration association. A brand new website will go online in March 2019. The "Freddie Celebration Days" will be very successful this year and will attract a lot of new visitors.